Apple increases health focus by buying medical AI startup

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Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 15.43.51
Gliimpse is a machine learning health platform.
Photo: Gliimpse

In keeping with its mobile health ambitions, Apple has snapped up Gliimpse, a personal health data startup which uses machine learning technology to help users make sense of their medical records.

The company was founded in 2013 by former Apple employee-turned-serial-entrepeneur Anil Sethi. Apple reportedly acquired it earlier this year, although (no surprises here) it hasn’t publicly announced what it plans to do with it yet.

According to Gliimpse’s website, the company claims that:

“We’ve built a magical machine. It takes incomprehensible electronic medical records and turns them into understandable, standardized, coded elements (LOINC, RxNorm, CPT, ICD and SNOMED), and terminology that both humans and machines can easily understand and use. The Rosetta Stone meets machine learning.”

Apple has recently been ramping up its investment in health. Earlier this month it hired Evan Doll, co-founder of “social magazine” company Flipboard, to serve as Apple’s new director of health software engineering.

Apple has also hired Sage Bionetworks founder Stephen Friend and former Nest Labs technology chief Yoky Matsuoka, both of whom are said to be working on health-oriented projects.

Gliimse
A glimpse at Gliimpse’s interface.
Photo: Gliimpse

It was recently reported that Apple is developing a “killer” new health device (a description I hope doesn’t make it intact through any marketing meetings), which will debut in 2017 — most likely baked into the 2017 iPhone refresh to help monitor heart rate and blood sugar levels.

The company has also made big strides in catching up with Google and Facebook in terms of machine learning. Hopefully this acquisition allows Apple to make even more positive advances in this area.

Source: Fast Company